According to Wholevehicles, Nis is the largest city in southern Serbia and the third largest city in the country. The oldest city in the Balkans, Niš, has been considered a gateway between East and West since ancient times. Here was born Constantine the Great – the first Christian Roman emperor, the founder of Constantinople. Nis is home to one of the oldest Christian churches in Serbia, dating back to the 4th century AD. e. In 2013, an ecumenical Assembly of Christian Churches was held in Nis in honor of the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan.
How to get to Nis
- By plane. 4 km northwest of the center of Nis is the airport of Constantine the Great – the second largest international airport in Serbia. There are buses to the city from the airport every 15 minutes from early morning until midnight.
- By train. The railway station is located half an hour’s walk to the east from the central square of Nis. Trains from Thessaloniki to Ljubljana via Belgrade, from Istanbul to Vienna via Belgrade and Budapest stop here.
- By bus. All buses from Belgrade to Greece or Macedonia call in Nis. The road from Belgrade will take 3 hours, but you need to make sure that the flight you are going to take is “direct” and there will be no stops in all small towns along the way.
- By car. Route E 75 passes through Nis.
Weather in Nis
The climate of Nis is temperate continental. The average temperature in July is 21 °C, in January – 0 °C.
The most ancient monuments of the city include the early Christian crypt, the mausoleum in Nishka Banya, the ruins of the church of St. Archangel Gabriel, the Byzantine basilica and the crypt in Ostrovitsa, the ruins of the Roman palace, the baptistery, the baths and the nymphaeum in Mediana. The main attractions of Nis are the Nis monasteries of the Holy Mother of God, the monastery and church of Hilandarski metoch, as well as the temples of St. Sava, St. Paraskeva of Iverskaya and many others that are part of the monastery complex. Later architectural monuments include the buildings of Banovina and Gradska-Kupa in the style of late neoclassicism, the building of the People’s Pozorishte, the building of the Radio Center Nis (served as the residence of King Peter I), the monumental building of the Main Post Office.
Tower of Skulls Chele Kula
On May 31, 1809, Serbian rebels suffered a major defeat on Mount Chegar in the First Uprising against the Ottoman Empire. Realizing the inevitability of defeat and not wanting to surrender, the Serbian commander Stefan Sindzhelich fired at the gunpowder depot, thereby blowing himself up, the remnants of his people surrounded and the advancing Turks. After the retreat of the Serbian army, the Turkish pasha ordered the construction of a tower and the installation of the skulls of the Serbs killed during the battle as a warning to anyone who wants to oppose the Ottoman Empire in the future. At the time of the construction of the tower, 952 skulls were embedded in its walls. Now there are 58 of them left, including the skull of the selfless Serbian governor. In 1892, a chapel was built around the tower in memory of the dead. And in 1937, a monument to Sindzhelich and a small bas-relief depicting a battle were erected in front of the entrance to the chapel.
In 1927, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Niš from the Turks, a monument in the form of a tower was built at the place where the bloody battle took place on Mount Chegar. In 1938, a bronze bust of Stefan Sindjelic was placed in a semicircular niche on the monument.
On the right bank of the Nishava River stands a Turkish fortress over two centuries old. Fortifications were erected on this site for two millennia. The fortress in Nis is one of the best preserved monuments of its kind in the Central Balkans. In plan, the fortress is a polygon with eight defensive platforms and four massive entrance towers. 8-meter walls, the average thickness of which is 3 meters, stretched for more than two kilometers. Along the entire perimeter, the fortress was surrounded by a wide moat, part of which has survived to this day. On the territory of the fortress today there is a wonderful park, which perfectly saves from the heat on summer days. And at the Istanbul gates of the fortress (this is the main entrance) life is in full swing in the evenings: summer cafes work, live music plays, residents and guests of the city stroll.
Not far from the fortress, a chapel was built in memory of the victims of the NATO bombings.
An important archaeological site from the Roman era is located in the eastern suburbs of Niš. Mediana was once the luxurious residence of Constantine the Great. Excavations unearthed a villa with a peristyle (a courtyard decorated with a covered colonnade), thermae (Roman baths), a granary and a water tower.
Crveni Krst is the first concentration camp in Serbia, established shortly after the occupation in 1941 and operating until the liberation of Niš in 1944. It is believed that 30 thousand people passed through it. Unlike large camp complexes, there were no crematoria here, and the bodies of the dead were covered with slaked lime. Now there is a museum here, you can walk around the barracks, look at the exposition with photographs of former prisoners – victims of Nazi terror. In 1979, the camp was declared a cultural monument of exceptional importance.
Also known as Kotelshchik Lane – the old city center, built in the first half of the 18th century. The surviving buildings of the masters are an example of architecture from the period of the Ottoman Empire. Now the lane of artisans is a wonderful place for a walk with numerous cafes and restaurants on both sides of the street.
Buban Memorial Park
The memorial complex Buban was erected in memory of more than 10,000 Serbian citizens who were shot by the Nazis during World War II. A memorial path passes through the park, on the territory there is a granite bas-relief and three high obelisks, symbolizing hands raised and clenched into fists that threaten the enemy.
The balneological resort Nishka Banya is located 10 km from the city center.